Greens elated with Melbourne win: Labor wins Government. @Takvera on #vicvotes from #GreeningBrunswick

Early results show Ellen Sandell winning for the Greens in Melbourne

Early results show Ellen Sandell winning for the Greens in Melbourne

The dust is settling on the Victorian election with Labor winning Government. It is the first time since 1955 of a single term Government being kicked out in Victoria. The Greens also celebrated Ellen Sandell winning the seat of Melbourne from Labor’s Jennifer Kanis. While elation in the Greens camp was high with this win, other races are too close to call or the Greens may just fall short.

I reported election night from the Brunswick Greens election night party. Brunswick has been a real contest between Labor and the Greens with Tim Read requiring a 3.6% swing from Labor’s Jane Garrett. At the end of the night Jane Garrett was leading by one percent. Read did not concede defeat with about 30 per cent of the vote in uncounted postal and prepoll voting. He told me at night’s end that it would be a difficult position to win from.

On the morning of the poll Read had congratulated Garrett on a clean campaign in Brunswick with this interchange:

Early projections show Greens winning in Richmond

Early projections show Greens winning in Richmond

All night the seat of Richmond kept on being added to the Greens tally as a win and being dropped off. The Greens Kathleen Maltzahn is running second to Labor’s Richard Wynne, requiring preferences from the Liberals, local Councillor and socialist Stephen Jolly who achieved 8.98 pc of the vote, and minor party candidates from the Sex Party and Animal Justice Party. It is a tight contest.

In Northcote the Greens Trent McCarthy achieved a 2.0 pc two party preferred swing, narrowing the margin to unseat Labor’s Fiona Richardson in a rather nasty Labor campaign in Northcote.

The Liberal marginal seat of Prahran held by Clem Newtown-Brown is on a knife edge with Greens candidate Sam Hibbins polling 25.03 pc of the vote slightly behind Labor’s Neil Pharaoh on 25.28 pc. If Hibbins finishes second in this contest after pre-polls are counted he may yet win the seat on Labor preferences.

Greg Barber and Christine Milne announce historic win in seat of Melbourne by Ellen Sandell

Greg Barber and Christine Milne announce historic win in seat of Melbourne by Ellen Sandell

But the elation for the Greens was winning their first Legislative Assembly seat in Melbourne. Ellen Sandell polled 41.07 pc to Labor’s Jennifer Kanis on 30.57pc. Despite the Liberals preferencing the Greens last in all seats, there is enough leakage of preferences for Sandell to win the seat with a 2 party preferred Greens/ALP vote at the end of the night of 51.24 pc to 48.76 pc, according to the Victorian Electoral Commission.

An upset in Morwell did not eventuate with community independent Trucie Lund running a strong campaign but only achieving 11.26 pc of the primary vote. The Nationals Russell Northe is predicted to hold the seat fending off a close challenge from Labor.

The major surprise of the evening was the seat of Shepparton where Independent Suzanna Sheed appears likely to have won the seat from the Nationals with 33.88 pc of the primary vote. Preferences from the Country Alliance with 8.5 pc and Labor with 16.97 pc of the primary vote may see the Nationals Greg Barr defeated in one of their safest seats.

The issues

Public Transport and the East West Tunnel were the number one issue of this election, but also the poor environmental record of the Baillieu and Napthine Governments, reduction in funding to TAFE, long running disputes with emergency services, and federal issues with a horror Federal budget in May and a Federal Government that lurches from one crisis to another of its own making.

Although electors are smart enough to differentiate Federal and State policy issues and vote accordingly, there is a tendency to elect Governments of a different political persuasion at the state level to that in place on a Federal level.

Tony Abbott’s intervention saying the Federal Government wants the $3 billion back if Labor rips up the East-West Tunnel contract with a refusal to fund any major public transport project demonstrates the ideological bullying and political thuggery ascendent in Canberra.

And no-one likes a thug telling them what to do.

The Metro Rail project was allocated as a top project by Infrastructure Australia: it is urgently needed to resolve capacity bottlenecks and expand Melbourne’s rail network, including servicing the Parkville area with Melbourne University and Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Labor also promised extension of the South Morang train line to Mernda in the northern suburbs to service this rapidly growing population in new housing developments. The Fifty level crossing upgrades and grade separation projects across Melbourne will also reduce traffic congestion points at railways.

With electors saying strongly in the Votecompass survey of the importance of upgrading public transport even at the expense of public roads, Labor needs to start all these public transport projects in this term if they are to achieve a second term in four years time.

Election night from the Brunswick Greens Party

I had approached Greens candidate Tim Read during the campaign to attend the party at the Temple Brewery in Brunswick as a Nofibs citizen journalist, to record the mood of the evening. Here is how it played out.

Tally rises to 2

Too early to give away Brunswick

On the early count Greens are ahead in Brunswick

On the early count Greens are ahead in Brunswick

Greg Barber and Christine Milne announce historic win in seat of Melbourne by Ellen Sandell

Greg Barber and Christine Milne announce historic win in seat of Melbourne by Ellen Sandell

You can check Individual Lower House provisional results at the Victorian Electoral Commission Virtual Tally Room State Election 2014. The ABC live results page also provides good coverage.

The Greens Dr Tim Read saying Brunswick is a close contest and thanking the many Greens supporters and voters

The Greens Dr Tim Read saying Brunswick is a close contest and thanking the many Greens supporters and voters

Fishers and Shooters, Greens, Micro-parties win balance of power in Upper House

Early counting in the Legislative Council, the Upper House, indicates that both major parties have gone backwards in representation with the Greens and micro-parties winning the balance of power.

According to the ABC Legislative Council results the Fishers and Shooters Party is likely to be the major beneficiary electing 3 MPs, one from each country region, largely at the expense of the Liberal National Party votes. Although their primary votes were very small, they were successful in utilising tight preference harvesting of other micro-parties to be elected.

Robert Danieli from the Australian Country Alliance will be elected in Northern Victoria on Labor preferences defeating the Greens Jenny O’Connor.

The Greens increased their representation from three seats to five, winning representation in each of the five metropolitan regions.

The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) looks set to return to the Legislative Council with Rachel Carling-Jenkins from the Western Metro region elected for the fifth and last position on Liberal Democrat and Liberal Party preferences ahead of the third Labor candidate.

In Northern Metro region Fiona Pattern is set to claim the Australian Sex Party’s first seat in parliament on a base of 2.88 pc of the primary vote. Her party was able to harvest preferences from the range of micro parties in the middle and progressive side of politics thus winning the last position with Labor preferences defeating Brendan Fenn from Family First.

Update: Counting in the Western Region with preference flows shows that the Shooters and Fishers will be excluded earlier in the count, and DLP preferences will elected James Purcell (Vote 1 Local Jobs) defeating Australian Greens (Lloyd Davies).

The likely makeup of the 40 member Legislative Council (Upper House) is:

Labor Liberal/National Greens Fishers and Shooters Country Alliance DLP Sex Party Local Jobs
New Council 13 16 5 2 1 1 1 1
Old Council 16 21 3

The Labor party is going to need exceptional negotiating skills in the Legislative Council to have it’s legislative agenda passed.

The Brunswick Greens  election watch party

The Brunswick Greens election watch party

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